Technology, changing consumer behaviours and an uncertain economic and geopolitical landscape feature high in the minds of retail CEOs this year, indicates PwC’s latest report ‘Navigating the New Retail Reality: views of Middle Eastern retail CEOs.’
Among their priorities are a strong push on digital, cited as top priority by 88% of the CEOs interviewed; followed by cost optimisation and restructuring cited by 50% and challenges around the shortage of digital talent and training was cited by 50%.
Commenting on the report, Norma Taki, consumer markets leader at PwC Middle East, says, “Change is the one constant for retail CEOs in the Middle East. Like all retailers across the world, they must keep pace with the new technology that is changing the way people consume products and services. But in the region, the changes go far beyond the disruption of online retailing: consumers are more price-sensitive today; they are less brand-loyal and economies are reforming.”
“It goes without saying — technology enables transactional efficiency, faster home-delivery and stock management, but our findings also tell us that Middle East retail CEOs are still facing the greatest challenge of all – a scarcity of local digital talent and training,” he adds.
With a more cautious outlook on the economy than ever before, the survey indicates that retailers are increasingly focusing on streamlining their businesses, managing cash flows and optimising costs. They are also well aware of the need to build sustainable businesses for the future as well as of changing consumer demands, both of which will require agility and prudence. This is especially true when it comes to retailers’ adoption of new technologies that merge traditional shopping with an online presence to produce an engaging and seamless multi-channel experience.
In this context, Hisham Al Amoudi CEO of Kamal Osman Jamjoom Group, states, “The key learning is that bricks-and-mortar is still very strong in the region – the brands that focus on customer experience, coupled with newness and innovation in products and services will always win.”
“The CEOs we interviewed this year all identified very similar concerns – with one common denominator: the need to adapt to change. First, how to develop the agility to respond quickly to market changes and new customer demands; how to attract and retain talent; and how to keep up with the pace of advances in digital technology, all against an increasingly uncertain macroeconomic context. That is why today, the opportunity lies in the hands of the retailers that are able to adapt, innovate and effectively compete against this still unfolding backdrop,” concludes Taki.
Words by Katie Streten Experiential Strategy Director, VMLY&R COMMERCE Throughout the last year,June 13, 2021 | By Shruthi Nair
UAE-based grocery retail chain, Grandiose has opened its first hypermarket in Abu
UAE-based Carrefour announced its theme and plans for Ramadan 2021. The brand
Locally owned supermarket Spinneys celebrates 60 years of doing business in the
UAE-based Carrefour will become the first retailer in the region to offer new levels
The Organic Farmers’ Market is back in Bay Avenue for its 12th
UAE-based Lulu Group recently inaugurated its first-ever all-female staff store in Jeddah,
Jones the Grocer, the gourmet grocer and cheese retailer launches the Jones
UAE-based Al Maya Supermarkets is hosting a two-week food festival at select
Locally-owned supermarket Spinneys has launched its ‘Power of Plants’ initiative in the
Carrefour UAE has launched “Cookit Yourself” — a curated recipe box created
UAE-based Al Islami Foods, one of the largest frozen food companies in
Marks & Spencer’s plant-based range now offers over 25 vegan products including meat-free
Remember the teleshopping channels on cable TV or the long home shop
Words by Joanne Joliet, Head of Worldwide Fashion & Apparel at Amazon
Amazon.ae recently announced the launch of Amazon Warehouse for customers in the
UAE-based BFL (Brands for Less) Group recorded a 56 per cent growth
The bricks versus clicks debate has been made redundant today with traditional
HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister
The once powerful department stores that anchored malls and streets around the
How much technology is too much technology? Tech has inevitably become as
Who isn’t a sucker for discounts? Customers today are spoiled for choice
PrettyLittleThing has launched its first Arabic language e-commerce website that serves as
The various e-commerce and virtual retail stores that cater to different product
A private helicopter carrying the chairman and managing director of Lulu Group,